Rip Current Brewing Co. in San Marcos, CA


rip_current_brewingBy: Carol Farrar, 1850 Realty

Rip Current Brewing Co. opened the doors to its San Marcos tasting room in November 2011 and since then, they continue to push the envelope with experimental beers. At any given time, you can find 20 beers on draft in their tasting room.

The brewers at Rip Current are influenced by all German, English, Scottish and American beers. Paul Sangster, co-founder and brewer has been passionate about the craft beer industry since the late 1980’s. His love for the craft led him to home-brewing before it was a common hobby among beer aficionados and he has been experimenting ever since.

With more than 150 medals won with his beer recipes alone, Paul was destined to help
launch what’s become a widely popular brewery here in North County. Best known by
locals for their Lupulin Lust San Diego-style IPA, this beer has citrus notes of grapefruit,
lemon and tangerine. Clean, bitter and dry, this is an easy drinking beer that finishes
smooth and hoppy.

Week after week, you can find something you’ve never tried before in their tasting room. With a 20 gallon pilot brew system, you can expect the unexpected on a regular basis. Their most recent creation was called, Dangerous Undertow – a Belgian Dark Strong Ale made with sichuan peppercorns.

A big part of their vision and mantra at Rip Current is for craft beer lovers to try beer styles they haven’t had before. From a Chocolate Milkstache Sweet Stout to a bourbon barrel-aged program that isn’t scheduled to release until sometime early next year, Rip Current wants to keep your toes on the nose. The specialty 20 gallon pilot program helps these award-winning brewers accomplish what they strive for, individuality. They currently have 32 bourbon barrels aging for the last 6 months filled with a Scottish Strong, Vanilla Storm, Belgian Dark & Imperial Stout. Be on the lookout for a bottle release in the New Year.

So what’s next?

Rip Current Goes to North Park

This microbrewery is ready to expand into its new location in North Park. If all goes according to plan, happy patrons will be imbibing on the special beers this holiday season. They’ve signed the lease on a 3500 sq.ft. venue on 30th Street across from the Ritual Kitchen & Beer Garden. The space will consist of a tasting room and restaurant with plans to serve an easy-going California style menu.

With regard to their draft list, you can expect a variety of house beers and a few handles dedicated to local breweries along with an exclusive bottle list where you’re likely to find barrel-aged beers once they become available.

One thing you’ll notice is the people within the beer community are huge advocates of each other. Camaraderie not competition is the consensus. Collaboration is quite common, in fact one of San Diego’s first craft beer pubs, O’Brien’s in Clairemont, is celebrating their 20 year anniversary this month and Rip Current has been commissioned to help brew the official anniversary beer which will be a Quad IPA. It’s a mega San Diego IPA clocking in at 15.7%. This specialty beer will also be known as a Hop Wine when you ask for it in San Marcos.

Ready to drop into Rip Current and venture into unchartered territory?


  • Wednesday and Thursday 3-8PM
  • Friday 3-9PM
  • Saturday 12-9PM
  • Sunday 12-5PM

Rip Current Brewing is located at 1325 Grand Ave, Suite 100 in San Marcos.

Visit for an up-to-date draft list.